Friday, June 3, 2011

Pete Townshend reveals details on Quadrophenia box set

Who guitarist Pete Townshend has revealed in a rare blog post that he is currently working on a box set for the Who's 1973 classic, Quadrophenia. The blog post was rare since, according to RollingStone, Townshend had given up posting something everyday. According to Townshend, he felt that journalists were taking is quotes out of context. However with a project big as this, how can you not make a blog post? So, Townshend has revealed some details on this new box set. According to him, Bob Pridden is working on a surround sound mix the album while Jon Astley is remastering the original vinyl. Quadrophenia was last touched in 1996, with a new mix the brought up the vocals and backing vocals, which Astley is also listening to for evaluation. As with any reissue and/or box set, there are some extra goodies coming with this project. According to Townshend, he's at work mixing old demos and also looking at notes and diaries from that time period (1971-1972). Townshend has also stated that if all goes well, this box set will be like the box set released last year for the 40th anniversary of Live at Leeds (which included the previously released "deluxe edition" with the entire Feb. 14, 1970 gig, along with the unreleased live show recorded the day after in Hull. Limited edition sets also included a copy of the album on vinyl) and Townshend's own Lifehouse Chronicles box set (released in 2000. This set consists of recordings Pete did himself in 1971 of the concept album that was supposed to follow up Tommy. It was abandoned and the Who ended up condensing the project to 1971's Who's Next). Townshend says that this Quadrophenia box set should be out sometime in October.

Personally I think this is a cool project. Quadrophenia is an amazing album and last time I checked, it's at #44 on my list of favorite albums (with Tommy, Live at Leeds, and Who's Next beating it. Studio album wise, it ranks as #3 in Who albums for me). Still, I'm a bit confused as to why Pete would want to work on this album in particular. The record label got it right with releasing the Live At Leeds set last year, since it was 40 years old. 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of Who's Next, so wouldn't it make sense to focus on that? I think the Lifehouse set sort of covered that since Lifehouse turned into Who's Next. Also I remember a few years ago that Rock Band (the video game) were going to make the entire Who's Next album as download content to play in the game. However I remember reading that they couldn't find all the master tapes for the album, which are needed in order to get them to work with the game (remember, there's four instruments: vocals, guitar, bass, and drums. Keyboards was added last year with Rock Band 3 but this happened in 2008-ish, I'll say). So instead of making fans/players disappointed, Rock Band released a "greatest hits/best of..." pack in place. They didn't do anything when Tommy turned 40 in 2009 (if I can remember correctly). I guess Tommy has gotten so much attention that making any kind of box set for Tommy would've been pointless. I mean, they turned the album to a Broadway musical! I guess it's time to give Quadrophenia some love, though I would've thought it would be best to wait till that turns 40 in 2013. Still, this is pretty cool. My birthday happens to fall in October so there's an idea for a gift there. The only problem for me with Quadrophenia is that I got it off iTunes about three years ago (although I had heard the album years before after copying the songs from my local library's copy...). I don't know how to overwrite things I got off iTunes but hey, I'm up for experimentation!

Speaking of Who's Next...I plan on having a anniversary article on it sometime in July when it turns 40. Since it's in my top 10 (at #4!), I'll be giving it the "song-by-song" treatment which is time consuming. I should get to work on it...soon! Stay tuned!

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